Funky weather to celebrate your birthday sir?

30 05 2009

loch pic and treeAfter an eventful windy night in our fab hostel (http://www.syha.org.uk/hostels/highlands/loch_ossian.aspx), the forecast for today was 90mph winds and white out blizzard conditions on the passes.  Really!  Our planned route took in a 5 mile bog, a mountain pass and the last stretch of the West Highland Way over 2 more days.  After lots of debate and discussion (including that today was Rich’s birthday) we decided to take the sensible option and bail out.  For me personally, I really didn’t want to call out Mountain Rescue for a 2nd time in my life!  

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday!

But it was a tough decision because none of us liked to admit defeat except there comes a time when adventure can turn into nightmare and today could have easily been one of those days.  So with nothing to lose and everything to gain, we got on the train, crossing fingers the driver wasn’t Mr Angry from our Day 1. But we couldn’t have had a nicer man this time and our bikes and trailers were loaded in a flash (Donna and I ready to feign illness and crying if all else failed!).

Feeling sad we’d left our adventure behind us earlier than planned we took in the beautiful scenery back to Fort William on the packed train.  The Hostel is so remote there are no roads for miles the train, bog or retrace is the only way out.

B&B sorted on arrival we headed off for showers and a rest and with a great meal planned for Rich’s birthday tonight we then idled the rest of the day shopping and being a ‘proper’ tourist at the local distillery, via the luxury of taxi!

On our last day we decided we wanted separate things so Rick and I had a chill out day on the Harry Potter train ride up to Mallaig and Rich and Donna rode the last bit of the Highland Way (minus bog) that we didn’t get to yesterday.  Everyone was happy and with our sleeper train to catch tonight we met up at 5.30pm for a curry then hopped on the train home. Perfect

Getting an adjoining room on the sleeper we watched the Highlands Fling by  sad we were leaving but happily reminiscing about our trip and saluted ourselves with a glass of vino on our EPic trip.  It was a Highland Fling of EPic proportions and one that will never be forgotten.  Och Aye !

Clicky Link for more photos:  http://photos-by-lisa.photosnaps.org.uk/c1703574_25.html

Here’s a few things we learned along the way:

 Items to buy for next time…

– 3 season down sleeping bag (not essential but would be my next “treat”); & waterproof, lightweight spare shoes  – Donna 

-More guy ropes & pegs for tarp – L&R

– feather air bed – Rick

Wouldn’t bother with next time…
– books, just buy a magazine/newspaper for the journey up and back – D
– pack of cards – D
– kite – Rick
 
Essential items…
– maps! – D
– not a water purifier as it turned out – D
– buffs were fab, v versatile.  Kept my neck nice and warm even when damp.  And doubled up as a shower cap to keep my hair out the way when we did get back to civilisation – D
– tarp was v useful
– hot food for lunch
– sit mats
-spare set of dry clothes and waterproof shoes – L
-hand sanitiser & poo trowel for wild camping – L
 
Lessons learnt…
– always pick up that bit of tut off the ground.  It may just turn out to be your favourite Squeaky Toy!!! – D
–  you get motion wobbliness after travelling by train for 14 hrs- L
– the spidey dump – Rich 🙂
– dry bags are brilliant – Rick
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